February 27, 2018 Subject:
A sampling of 2 episodes
In episode #23, except for a WWII news report at the 19 minute mark, the show is all music and song. At the 45 minute mark there is a Irving Berlin medley. The series at this point was called The Philco Summer Hour and ran on the Blue Network. Run time is an hour, not 50 minutes as listed. By episode 43 the program is called Philco's Radio Hall of Fame. It's broadcast in the afternoon from Earl Carroll's Theatre Restaurant. For this installment Dick Powell is the singing host. Ginny Simms sings Cuddle up a Little Closer; comedy by Gil Lamb; a Meredith Wilson medley(before The Music Man); comedy by Ben Carter & Mantan Moreland(the unfinished sentence routine); JS sings, In the Still of the Night; then Billy Gilbert and his sneeze routine; a Paul Whiteman segment; and a soldier's medical story in China.
February 25, 2013 Subject:
Lots of Good Stuff - But Whiteman Really Disappoints
A grab bag of stuff, but a lot of this is quite excellent, particularly in the first part of the run. Featured in this show are folks like Jackie Gleason, Joe Besser (funnier than he ever was with the Three Stooges), Mantan Moreland (doing his famous routine with his stage partner, Ben Carter), along with better known names.
Music is provided by the "Dean of Modern American Music", Paul Whiteman. And this is where the show really disappoints. The band Whiteman has here sounds like every other radio orchestra and chorus from the day, and it is rare that anything unique (or swinging) comes from the morass of strings and choral voices. The band, rather startlingly, often sounds under-rehearsed, and can even massacre Gershwin. The cutsie-pie moments, where the Whiteman band purportedly plays its 1920-25 arrangements are often embarrassing forays into Spike Jones territory. (The one time the band actually does one of these "Then and Now" straight, the studio audience is startled into very loud applause. Significantly, there is no revival of any of Whiteman's better, Bix era, recordings.) There is good music (from visiting artists like Connee Boswell, Mildred Bailey, and other visiting Whiteman alumni), but it would fill one CD.
January 15, 2012 Subject:
Cool show -- details ...
Lots of good stuff here. Mostly musical comedy but occasional episodes featuring drama, such as an abbreviated version of Wilson, starring Alexander Knox and Geraldine Fitzgerald, and another episode from 3/5/44 featuring Ilka Chase (probably best known as Bette Davis' supportive sister in "Now, Voyager") reading a Dorothy Parker monologue. Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra is the house band. The 3/25/45 ep stars Fred Allen, and the skit referenced is actually called The Strange Case Of Rodney Rappaport. The production of Showboat features Kathryn Grayson and Allan Jones. The 12/17/44 ep is hosted by Judy Garland in a tribute to the music of Jerome Kern. The 10/8/44 ep features Orson Welles and Mary Martin. Alas, a year later (10/7/45)it was reduced to a half-hour show.